SUMMARY (Courtesy of borders.com):
A steamy Southern beauty makes one fatal mistakeNatalie Hargrove would kill to be her high schools Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesnt share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalies nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a partywhen they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead.From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never shouldve messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrove.Cruel Intentionsmeets Macbethin this seductive, riveting tale of conscience and consequence.
OPINION: 4 Stars
This was a nice twist on the typical unintentional death now cover it up kind of story. Set in a small southern town where there is a right and wrong side of the tracks- filthy rich verse trailer trash, this novel focuses on the rich side of things and I found it to be a somewhat refreshing take on your typical high school drama. It was in there but it wasn't too overbearing, likely because it is the rich snobby kind. What they stress over and why is different and I did enjoy it. There are several surprising events and turns, many of them coming at just the right moments to keep the reader from getting too bored or distant from the story.
The book is written from Natalie's perspective and I feel her character was developed nicely. She starts out seemingly shallow, stuck up and arrogant but her background, her motivations, and her desires are revealed in a way that, looking back, is logical but helps move the story along and pull the reader through the story's events right with Natalie. She starts out as a well to do member of the rich society- and everything that comes with it from obsessing over things like winning a crown to her appearance and who her boyfriend is- but becomes something much more by the end.
Mike and Natalie's relationship was another good aspect of this book- now seniors, they have been together for 3 years, completely happy until one event starts to tear them apart. The length of time they had been together is, of course, unique for any high school, but especially this hypersexual, rumor driven one. I really enjoyed how Mike played a big role but he was also somewhat if a minor character in terms of how he was in the story- it was a refreshing blend for me.
Although the book did start out a little slow, really, don't the majority of books? The stage for everything was set nicely, and many characters were introduced right from the start and it all lead up to what I felt to be a really great, heart felt ending. The final closing lines were perfect in my opinion- I really did enjoy how the book seemed to end but then the reader got an even deeper look into Natalie's background- something that had been hinted at the entire story and finally, there it was. I actually enjoyed the way it split off from how the book was seemingly going to end, jumping back several years for a flashback, before returning to the epilogue. It was a unique writing style that I did enjoy.
Overall, I give this book 4 stars. There were some moments where it was shallow for me but of course it had to be in this story. The writing is good- not amazing and it didn't captivate and wow me, but the story as a whole did draw me in. Everything was set up very well and followed a great path.